The crew then proceeded to remove both of the leaders that had dropped branches. As they were in the center of the tree it now looks very strange, the other leaders leaning outward as they do. I don't know if they are going to take the whole tree down or not, but they probably will. I'm going to miss it. It was the tallest and probably the oldest of the oaks in the neighborhood, and has always been my favorite local tree. Only a dozen of so feet shorter than the big ponderosa pines just beyond it, the oak dominated that part of the landscape, and it was always the first thing I looked at when I went into the back yard each day. This was also the tree that dropped most of the acorns that fell on the metal roofs of the garage and workshop of my back fence neighbor. That was a big part of the percussion section of the neighborhood's autumnal natural orchestra.
I suppose the owners of the property were worried about their liability should the tree drop more branches, or a whole leader, or indeed if the entire tree should fall on one of the buildings next door. Personally I'd have been glad to see the tree destroy the ugly metal workshop the back fence neighbor put up a couple of years ago. In fact that would be the only circumstance under which I'd be resigned to the loss of the tree. At least its death would have accomplished something useful. Now I fear that the ugly workshop will be even more prominent, without the tree towering above it.
I hear the chain saws starting up again, so I think I'll go back out and witness the slaughter. If they are destroying the whole tree, I wish they'd get it over with so the frightened cat, at least, could get back to his normal, quiet life. Goodbye, tree.